In a bowl combine sugar, ricotta (or cottage cheese), eggs and vanilla essence or vanilla seeds. Combine well using a whisk. In a separate clean bowl combine all-purpose flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
Add the melted butter (cool) and lemon zest to the ricotta mixture. Stir to combine. Incorporate the dry ingredients (flour mixture) and stir well to get a nice batter.
fry the fritters
In a large frying pan, heat about 5 cm / 2 inches of vegetable oil to 175 °C / 350 °F. Working in batches, drop a tablespoon of batter into hot oil (use two tablespoons to slide the batter into the oil). Fry until golden brown all over and cooked through, for about 5 - 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to a plate covered with paper towels to drain any excess fat. Continue frying the remaining batter.
Dust the sweet lemon ricotta fritters with confectioner's sugar and serve, they are best eaten immediately.